006 Impossible Love
“Wait!” I shouted once I had fought my way outside of the hall.
He turned to face me.
“I suppose you will rebuke my folly in refusing that girl.”
No, I admire you because of it. You are unlike other men. You do not allow lust to control your actions. You are the only man capable of resisting her. I hate Natia and her priestesses! They destroy so many men who might otherwise be quite decent. I will never serve her.
“You think it took great courage to deny her; it didn't. I've never been more afraid. Nothing terrifies me more than lovely women.”
You do not seem terrified.
“I never seem terrified. I can't express my emotions in the same way that others do. Surely you noticed that I didn't react with pleasure to the food or music. I cannot.”
If you are so terrified of women as you say, then why are you unafraid of me. You yourself called me lovely.
“Centin, drafted me into the King’s personal guard” I cringed at the very name of King’s Chief Adviser. “He devised a method to remove desires and emotions which would impede us. I was stolen from my parents as an infant and tortured all through my childhood. Whenever I cried out or complained, the torture worsened, so I just stopped crying. I can't express myself as you can. I fear women because my master trained me to. He showed me carvings or statues of gorgeous women then branded me when I beheld them. He had other methods which I will not share. I didn't qualify for the King's Guard, so I remained a slave until now.”
I am very sorry for their cruelty. What they did to you was wrong, and I wish I could right such an evil.
My hunger for pain rose to the surface of my consciousness. I longed for the agony of his past as much as I dreaded taking it.
“I'm not sorry. I don't know what it means to feel self-pity. Perhaps it's better that I never know that pain. I don't fear you because though you are beautiful, you are nothing like other women, not beautiful in the same way as them.”
His words stung. I resembled his people in no way. He walked with his hands as forefeet, yet I stood on two legs. I knew that he could never love me as more than a friend or perhaps as a sister. Though he did not say it, I knew he believed me to be a monster.
If you do not fear me, then what do I make you feel?
I make you jealous?
“You don't make me jealous. I'm jealous to protect your honor. I'm devoted to you because you always comforted me in my despair. You’re the only person I’ve ever been able to love,” he said with a dispassionate voice, but I knew that he was earnest.
“I al-ways love you,” I whispered into his ear as I embraced him.
I gathered my strength and withdrew all of his fear into myself. As by body tremored, I shoved him away in my terror and collapsed at his feet.
I was powerless to resist when he lifted me and carried me toward his apartments. My attraction to him went beyond mere appreciation of his character. The agony of fear thrashed at my soul as he conveyed me to my doom. I trusted him as much I trusted myself. No one had ever been so contemptible to me. I peered into his mind and it was full of honor and purity. I wondered what filth he concealed from me. I longed for him as a prisoner longs for freedom. I longed to escape him as if he were aflame. I loved him. I hated him.